Recent ESA meeting themes have included ecological restoration, linking research and education, planning sustainability of a global society, and global warming. Earth stewardship continues this emphasis on application of ecological perspectives and knowledge to global concerns. We must find simultaneous solutions to a suite of interconnected problems that threaten the ability of the earth to provide the services and resources on which we depend. This will require integration of knowledge from the local to the global scale, from the sciences, humanities, and engineering, and from sources ranging from traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples to the most modern technological advances. In an age when the world’s human population is increasingly isolated from the life-support systems of the earth, fostering a “sense of place” and global responsibility is critical to this effort. Ecologists have a special understanding of the complex, multi-scale interactions underlying the earth’s life-support systems and must be leaders in society’s movement to earth stewardship in the 21st century.